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Interview with Shiv Kumar

He is an engineer by education, a bureaucrat by profession, and an author by passion. After graduating in Electronics and Communication Engineering, he worked as an engineer at Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited before the desire to serve his home State took him back to Bihar. 

The profession of engineering changed to a diagonally opposite field of taxation but the passion for writing remained intact. He currently works as Assistant Commissioner of State Taxes. Besides writing he loves to travel and explore new places.

Q.1 Tell us a little about yourself that not many people know?
Writing skills. Being in a highly technical field-taxation leaves little time for writing. Most of the time people around me are genuinely surprised when they come to know that I write too.

Q.2 When should we expect your next book? What will it be about?
Next part of You will Die will come by next year. The book will be another nail-biting thriller with the plot moving to on next higher plane.

Q.3 What made you write You Will Die?
A. The idea of the plot came to my mind when as part of the training I was posted at a small town located at Bihar, UP border where we lived in a house that was said to be haunted. Of course, we did not live there for long and soon shifted elsewhere. 

There in front of the house was a milestone with Delhi 866 written on it. The story further progressed when during our training at ATI Mysore we were shown slides of artifacts excavated from Talkadu in Mysore District. The idea of a royal bathroom came from it. 

Further during the training period, we were shown all landmarks of Bihar particularly Buddha Smiriti Park which is featured in this story although the events shown are imaginary. 

All the ideas floated in my mind but due to my busy work schedule, I hardly got time to pen them down. However, the time came during the lockdown announced during the COVID-19 situation. The virus in my story is named M21 because of the first 21 days of lockdown provided me much-needed time to complete the story.

Q.4 Were there any obstacles you faced while writing this book?
Time. Being in a highly demanding job leaves little time for writing.

Q.5 What’s the most challenging part about writing an action thriller as opposed to any other genre?
The most challenging part of an action thriller is to get the readers hooked on the book from the beginning till the end.

Q.6 Why should other writers want to write a thriller?
Thriller genre has a huge market potential in India. There is no single Indian writer in this genre who claims to have command of this genre.

Q.7 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
The feelings of characters from the opposite sex are difficult to grasp.

Q.8 How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
There are some set formulas that I use in my stories -

Racy start and highly action-packed climax.
2. Strong female characters.
3. Introduction of twists when the story becomes predictable.
4. Cop drama.
5. Locations are mostly taken from my home state-Bihar.

Q.9 How do you select the name of your characters?
The names of the characters are taken mostly from people around me but sometimes it is taken just randomly.

Q.10 How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?
I have written three books till now. However, my first book- A Metro Nightmare was self-published and is out of the market now. I count my next book Operation India One as my first book. It is also my favorite book.

Q.11 Outside of your family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author?
My colleagues in whichever office I worked in always supported me in my journey to become a published author.

Q.12 Do you believe in writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?
Yes. However, to get new ideas I travel a lot. Being in a transferable job helps as every new place brings with it new challenges and new friends which of course translates into new ideas.

Q.13 What were the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?
I learned to read the faces and minds of people.

Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
I am an impulsive writer. I write chapters in a short time and then I do not write for weeks or months.

Q.15 Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I will just read and read.

Q.16 What three things readers should expect from your books?
A. 1.
2. Action
3. Entertainment

Q.17 What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Follow your own instincts and be passionate about what you write.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
A. Frederick Forsyth
, because I love his books and his writing style.

Q.19 What is your favorite book and why?
My favorite book is The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth. Even after forty years this book gives more thrills than any of the thriller these days.

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
Although I consider myself an amateur writer with only three books in last ten years, the journey so far is good. Nothing is more satisfying than to hold one’s creation in his hands.

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